Lawsuits Over Benicar Diarrhea Side Effects Begin to Grow
Over the past two months, a growing number of product liability lawsuits have been filed against Daiichi Sankyo by individuals who allege that side effects of Benicar caused them to suffer chronic diarrhea and long-term health problems.
All of the complaints involve similar allegations that users and the medical community were unaware of the link between Benicar and diarrhea problems, resulting in the gastrointestinal complications to continuing for long periods of time, leaving users with long-term damage to their intestines, chronic dehydration and malnutrition, as well as food intolerance and other health issues.
While a handful of Benicar lawsuits have been removed to the federal court system, at least nine lawsuits have been filed against the drug maker in the New Jersey Superior Court for Atlantic County since early February, according to a report in the NJ Law Journal
Benicar (olmesartan medoxomil) is a widely used blood pressure medication approved by the FDA in 2002, which is distributed in the U.S. by Daiichi Sankyo and Forest Laboratories.
Although the medication has been on the market for more than 10 years, it has only recently been disclosed that Benicar may cause sprue-like enteropathy, a medical condition that causes diarrhea, weight loss and other problems. As a result of the drug makers’ failure to warn about these Benicar diarrhea problems, many users have suffered these symptoms for years, and many individuals were misdiagnosed as having celiac disease.
The first indication about these risks came in an independent study published in the medical journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings in July 2012, which highlighted 22 cases of Benicar resulting in celiac disease symptoms, where the diarrhea and other problems resolved after the medication was no longer used.
In July 2013, the FDA issued a drug safety communication informing consumers and the medical community for the first time about the link between Benicar and sprue-like enteropathy, warning doctors to be aware that users may develop symptoms of chronic diarrhea months or even years after Benicar treatment is started.
While the symptoms typically stop when the medication is no longer used, many users experience permanent intestinal damage, known as villous atrophy, where the microscopic tentacles that line the wall of the small intestine erode. Villous atrophy from Benicar can leave former users with reduced digestive capabilities, malnourishment and dehydration, according to allegations raised in the lawsuits.
It appears that most of the cases will be centralized in New Jersey, which is the U.S. headquarters for the drug maker Daiichi Sankyo. As Benicar injury lawyers continue to review potential cases for users throughout the country, some estimates suggest that hundreds, or even thousands, of lawsuits may ultimately be included in the litigation.
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